National Film School
The National Film School (NFS) at IADT was launched in November 2003. It is a centre of excellence for education and training in film, animation, broadcasting and digital media. This status is based on: the consistently high achievements of its student productions in both professional competitions and festivals, at home and abroad; the careers of its graduates in the entertainment and media industries; the very high standard of applied film education that has been provided for more than 25 years; and the excellence of its staff. IADT’s full-time and part-time staff possess considerable industry experience and a high proportion continue to work as practitioners.
IADT’s status as the NFS is consolidated in the high profile of its prestigious Advisory Board. The Board is chaired by Morgan O’Sullivan and is membership includes John Boorman, Pierce Brosnan, Donald Taylor Black, Toni Delany, Roddy Doyle, Clare Duignan, Joan Egan, Cathal Gaffney, James Hickey, Róisín Hogan, Neil Jordan, Sean Larkin, James Morris, Kevin Rockett, Jim Sheridan, Ken Wardrop and Bill Whelan.
IADT is the only Irish full member of the Centre International de Liaison des Ecoles de Cinéma et de Télévision (CILECT), the International Association of Film and Television Schools, the CILECT regional association, and GEECT, the Groupement Européen des Ecoles de Cinéma et de Télévision.
The NFS has maintained a consistently high record of achievement for its student films in national and international competition over the years. Ken Wardrop’s documentary, Undressing My Mother, produced by Andrew Freedman, gathered 21 national and international prizes at home and abroad, including the most prestigious of all: Best Short Film (Prix UIP) at the European Film Awards in Berlin. It also won the Irish Film and Television Award for Best Short Film, and Best Documentary at the Tampere International Short Film Festival. It was invited to the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, the only Irish film selected that year.
In May 2008 Vincent Gallagher won a prestigious 2007 Royal Television Society (RTS) Student Award in the overall UK & Ireland Undergraduate Drama section for his film, Bright Idea, and, in the same year, Robert Manson won the top prize, the Taylor Art Award (and €20,000), at the RDS Student Art Awards for his graduation film, The Silver Bow. Sean Branigan’s Martin won the Tiernan MacBride Award for Best Irish Short Film at the 20008 Galway Film Fleadh while Conal O’Meara picked up the Empire Award in the Done in Sixty Seconds category for his remake of Jerry Maguire (made in co-operation with Stephen Power); the trophy was presented by Shane Meadows at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.
NFS Film students continued our success over the years at the Kodak Student Commercials Awards when in 2010 Biscuit Tin, directed by Niall Maher, came home with a prize form the ceremony at BAFTA. Cathy Brady’s Small Change has been selected for the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, after having won the Kodak/NAHEMI Cinematography Award at the Encounters Short Film Festival and Best First Time Irish Director (the Claire Lynch Award) at the Cork Film Festival.
NFS Animation students did extremely well at the 2008 Galway Film Fleadh: winning three prizes, including the James Horgan Award for Best First Irish Short Animation, which was presented to Matt Horan for Monolith. Eamonn O’Neill’s My Day won Short Animation of the Year at the 3 National Student Media Awards in 2009 while Darragh Duffy triumphed in the 2009 RTS Student Awards (Irish section), with Best Animation for Pest, the second year in a row that IADT students received this prize.
In the last couple of years Animation students have had their films shown at more national and international festivals than ever before including: ReAnimacja (Lódz, Poland); Celtic Film Festival; Frames (Mumbai, India); Galway Film Fleadh; Kilkenny Film Festival; Kerry Film Festival; Vilnius (Lithuania); Foyle Film Festival; AniFest (Hungary); BIMINI (Riga, Latvia); Kinofilm (Manchester); CinemadaMare (Italy); and the British & Irish Film Festival (Berlin).
Fiona Walsh, a 2005 Make-up graduate, won 3rd place at the first international competition for European film make-up students in January 2006. The competition was organised by the prestigious US Make-up Artists Magazine and the final shortlist of eight, selected from hundreds of entries, competed in public at the annual International Make-up Artists Trade Show (IMATS/Europe) in London, judged by Oscar and Emmy winner, Michael Westmore.
Last year we were delighted that NFS graduates and former students received a record twenty-two nominations, across twelve categories, at the 2010 Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) Awards.
The National Film School at IADT is a partner in the ENGAGE project, which is funded principally by the MEDIA programme of the European Community. It brings together 24 filmmaking students and graduates (writers, producers and directors) from different European countries during three residential workshops taking place in Ireland, Scotland and Estonia/Finland. A collaboration between four of Europe’s leading film schools, Screen Academy Scotland at Edinburgh Napier University; the Baltic Film & Media School at Tallinn University; the Department of Motion Picture, Television and Production Design at Aalto University’s School of Art & Design in Helsinki; and the NFS, ENGAGE helps participants gain a better understanding of international co-production processes and the nature of collaborative project development.
The NFS, with financial support from the Irish Film Board, hosts a very successful annual series of NFS Lectures at IADT. Internationally respected participants have included Jim Sheridan, Neil Jordan, Sir Alan Parker, Oliver Stone, John Sayles, Stephen Frears, John Landis, Mike Leigh, Terence Davies, John Boorman and Krzysztof Zanussi (directors); Stephen Rea and Ciaran Hinds (actors); Maggie Renzi (producer); Alex McDowell and Luciana Arrighi (production designers); Seamus McGarvey BSC and Barry Ackroyd BSC (cinematographers); Mick Audsley (Editor); Deborah Nadoolman (costume designer); Roddy Doyle, Frederic Raphael and Jeffrey Caine (screenwriters); and Caroline Leaf and Joanna Quinn (animators).
John Canemaker, Professor of Animation at New York University, was our first National Film School Visiting Fellow during the academic year 2009/2010. His residency on the IADT campus was a huge success and, as well as giving an NFS Lecture, there were two other public and/or industry events, which were held at the Irish Film Institute and the Light House Cinema. Professor Canemaker is the author of ten acclaimed books on the history of animation and he won an Academy Award in 2006 for Best Animated short. The NFS Visiting Fellowship received financial support from the Irish Film Board, Enterprise Ireland, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Visiting Artists Program.
Construction of our new NFS Building has commenced and is due to be completed by Spring 2012. This state-of-the-art facility will include a High Definition TV/film Studio, a blue screen studio, two radio studios, equipment store/technicians workshop, four classrooms and staff offices. Click here to learn more about this project>>
The first phase of our fund-raising campaign has been successfully completed. 78 Founding Sponsors have made donations to the NFS. They consist of independent production companies from film, animation and television, broadcasters, facility houses, distributors, advertising agencies, individuals, and other industry friends. We are most grateful for their support.